On November 7, 2022, officials from the PA Department of Education and PA Department of Agriculture toured Methacton High School's Windy Hill Farm, a hydroponic farm in a shipping crate. Pennsylvania Department of Education Executive Deputy Secretary Dr. Debora Carrera and Executive Director of the PA Department of Agriculture's Commission for Agriculture Education Excellence Stephon Fitzpatrick received an up-close look at what students are learning and the technology that supports it. The tour was led by course instructors Steve Savitz and Jeremy Walton.
Also in attendance for today's tour were: Liz Drummond, President of the Methacton Board of School Directors; Jen Cancro, Vice President of the Methacton Board of School Directors; Methacton Education Foundation President Shannon Peffer; Methacton Education Foundation Executive Director Donna Piergallini; Methacton Education Foundation Board Members Dr. Wini Hayes and Jim Beam; and, Methacton High School Principal Dr. Jamie Gravinese.
The vertical hydroponic farm is custom-built and contains state-of-the-art technology that receives electricity and fresh water into the shipping container farm. The Hydroponic farming course at Methacton High School supports the district’s focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). It includes opportunities for hands-on experience and a lab component. The course also places a strong emphasis on business, marketing, computer science and mathematics concepts. Methacton High School is the first high school in the Commonwealth to operate a student-run "Freight Farm". The course is now in its second year.
Windy Hill Farm is available to our students thanks to the leadership of the Methacton Board of School Directors and the administration -- and thanks to the generosity of our community partners through donations to the Methacton Education Foundation, which awarded over $400,000 for Methacton programs in 2021-2022.